June 8, 2011

I Needed That Pain...

This year I finally started watching "Lost". I know - I'm a few years late to the game. I also know that if you were wrapped up in the show like I am now it's not news to you for me to say that this is one of the greatest shows to ever hit TV. Period! I mainly catch single episodes while I'm hitting the elliptical at the gym. I'm now well into Season 5. And yesterday, in the midst of my sweating and running, I was struck by an exchange between 2 of the main characters. It went like this:

Sawyer: "Don't you want to go back there? Do things over?"
Locke: "Why would I want to do that?"
Sawyer: "To save yourself a world of pain!"
Locke: "No. I needed that pain to get to where I am now."

I don't really remember much about the episode after that. Those words just kept spinning through my mind. And this morning in scripture, the reason became clear. In Romans 12:2, Paul says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Here it is in simple fashion: If you want to get where the Lord desires to lead you - be WHO He desires you to be - KNOW what He has to reveal to you - there is only one pathway to that place: by testing. Through the pain - not around it. Weathering the storm - not avoiding it. And yes, even choosing and embracing the suffering rather than fearing and despising it. This is what drove Paul to confess not only his willingness, but his longing, to "share in His sufferings". He wanted to know Christ at any and all costs. Bring on the pain...if that's what it takes. And when we read Romans 8 we realize that it's the unknown, the unseen, the suffering, even the pain, that drives us to HOPE and to PRAY. If there was no testing...there would be no hoping!

I don't know what you're walking through right now, but if you're trusting in the Lord and clinging to Him, keep trusting and clinging. Don't for one second even think of giving up! Know that through the darkness, the unknown - through the pain and (YES!)...by testing...you will know more of Him. You will see more of Him in you. You will be transformed and renewed! You will know "what is good and acceptable and perfect." Whatever the pain is, you'll need it to get where it is that the King desires to take you. And wherever that may be, it will be good!

Is there pain - testing - in your rearview mirror that you now see differently?
Would love for you to share....

1 comment:

Stony and Brit said...

The last 6 months have been a time of pain for me. And there have been times where I have cried out, "I'm done. I don't want to do this anymore." God is always faithful. And through all of this, I have seen my sister-in-law go from an alcoholic to a sold out daughter of the King. It's still hard, but it is so awesome to see His work!